I recently emailed Peter at Valley Sea Kayaks (formerly Valley Canoe Products) with some questions:
“Now that VCP/VSK is under new management, I’m curious if there might be any possibility of a re-introduction of the original (pre-'95) Pintail. There is somewhat of a “cult” of Pintail afficionados here in the US that much prefer the flat aft deck and more rounded hull of the older design. The same is true of the older Anas Acuta with the flat aft deck. If there’s no plan to produce them on a regular basis (understandable), is it possible to special order these boats? Perhaps if they were ordered a few at a time?”
To which he replied:
“In answer to at least one of your questions. One thing we have been considering for a while is offering a Valley historic back catalogue, i.e. Original Nordkapp, Pintail, Anas and even some of the less popular newer models. These we would only produce for one or two months a year, during our quiet period. Therefore the numbers would be quite limited and people would have to pre-order with deposit.
The advantage for us is that we could arrange storage for these moulds off site, making more space for production of our core models, then once a year we would clear the decks bring the old moulds back in the knowledge that we would be doing a realistic production run.
We see this as very much win win you guy’s get access to our historic models without us being buried under so many in service moulds.”
Additionally, he informed me that the Skerray RM (ocean cockpit) is currently available.
So, it looks like you’ll be able to order whatever flavor you like of older VCP boats, in the near future. That’s what you call “customer service”!
I recently emailed Peter at Valley Sea Kayaks (formerly Valley Canoe Products) with some questions:
seaward would do the same with foster’s older models.
it’d be one way to get a rumor.
Thats great news
I am glad to hear that we are going to be able to order out of ‘history’. From what I have been told, the older nordkapp was a better model, i dont know if this is true, because I have never seen a Valley boat, sides on the computer. But never in real life. I already commented on my affections and lust for the anas acuta - even a nordkapp - uh oh CHRISTMAS list just got outrageous
more questions, sorry.
Is there any where online to view the older models of valley’s boats? I’d like to see what they have to offer and certainly interested hearing anyone’s views on the older pintails, anas acuta’s and nordkapp’s…
thanks in advance!!!
The best of which is getting direct response from Valley. These new folk seem to understand the importance, to their business, of dedicated paddlers.
If they offer earlier versions, I would think they would post on their web site the differences. This would make such information broadly available.
And maybe, with Valley’s example, Seaward will consider putting the Echo and Rumour back into limited production. My last exchange with them about these two Foster boats was that they had no plans to produce either.
Re: 0lder Nordkapp
I’ve heard that the reason they updated the Nordkapp (to the Jubilee) is because the old mold had fallen out of shape. People were calling them and reporting that their Nordkapps, which were supposed to be 21" wide, were only 19" wide. I think it was due to the mold stretching or the ends sagging.
If that’s the case, I don’t know how they could bring back the old mold. I’d be curious to see though.
I have one of those old Nordkapps (as does Tsunami Chuck) and it’s a great boat.
I have not tested the new one, but the old one is very wet and beautiful.
My understanding is that the present Nordkapp, the Nordkapp H2O (2003), is the 3rd generation Nordkapp, the 1st being the orginial Nordkapp (~1975) and the 2nd generation being the Nordkapp Jubilee (early 90's according to Sea Kayaker). Name standardization between the VSK/VCP website (and their dealers, i.e. GRO, Atlantic, etc.) and the available literature on the Nordkapp leaves a little to be desired. VCP Director Robin Goodliffe called the newest Nordkapp (Nordkapp H2O or Nordkapp S-H2O or is it Nordkapp HS H2O?...whatever) the "Jubilee H2O" in one email. Sea Kayaker magazine calls the latest version the Nordkapp H2O...so who knows. However, I believe the case is that there are now 3 generations of Nordkapps. Right?
BTW, I don't want to hi-jack this thread, but I'd sure be interested in hearing some reviews of the Nordkapp H2O from those folks that have been in one.
no hijacking going on there lol
I’d like to hear the exact same thing…I really like the nordkapp sh20, which I assume is the newest of the nordkapp line?
and if it is then what is the major difference between the h20 and the first nordkapp?
I think the Jubilee came out in about 2000. My Nordkapp HM (1997) was one of the incredible shrinking variety. I heard that the build-up on the mould caused the boat to shrink more every year. My Nordkapp HM was narrower and less volume than most. When I saw the first Jubilee, I darn near fell over at how much more volume it had than mine. Like a totally different boat. I was also pretty shocked when I saw the picture of Stan Chladek’s vintage Nordkapp HM in Sea Kayaker Magazine and realized just how much my boat had shrunk from the original. Had my boat had Stan’s boat’s dimensions, I definitely would have kept it around.
I demoed an H2O at GOMSKS and also spoke to a number of paddlers who had early Nordkapps and were trying the H2O.
Two of the three previous Nordkapp owners liked the H2O better. These are the two I mentioned earlier who when paddling their Nordkapps unladen, carried 50 pounds of balast. The new Nordkapp is not much more tender than an Aquanaut unladen.
The third previous owner preferred the old Nordkapp.
As I was getting into the H2O, I asked Steve Maynard how he thought it felt ccompared to an Aquanaut. His response was “Rounder.” Terse, but not inaccurate.
I’ve never paddled an early model Nordkapp. So my closest comparison is to my Aquanaut. The H2O felt similar, but with slightly lower initial stability, higher decks and a bit quicker getting up to speed. Sea Kayaker test stats and comments were not very different between the Nordkapp H2O and the Aquanaut. The Nordkapp has less drag at lower speeds. The Aquanaut had less drag at higher speeds. The stability curves were similar with the Aquanaut seeming to have slightly higher initial and the Nordkapp slightly higher final - though the curves were very very similar.
hmm…the thought of a 19inch beam
for an expedition sea kayak? :):)
Give me one!! I think that’d be great, given that I am a small paddler, I think I would love the feel of a boat of that beam. Hmm…I wish.
An incomplete overview, but one of the better ones.
The first N. had a very small cockpit and some times you wished you had bird legs to enter it.
The N. was also available with a large cockbit and understern rudder.
If you want a narrow expedition boat, the Nigel Foster Silhouette has a beam of 20.5" and length of 17’10".
It is very fast.
well, my sirius has a beam of
20.5 (maybe .4) and the P&H Bahiya (also awful enticing has a beam of 20.5…
I’d like to go one even narrower if possible
Waterline and profile
The feel of the boat and its performance are often not reflected simply in its overall width.
The actual waterline beam and hull profile make an enormous difference.
Sea Kayaker lists the overall width of the Sirius as 21" with a waterline beam of 20.5"
The Silhouette is a much faster and more tender boat than the Sirius. I think once you are at 22" or narrower, you really have to paddle the boat to feel if the beam is appropriate to your desires.
I haven’t seen anything…
…but presumably, when VSK is ready to start building them, they’ll post some data and perhaps some pics. For now, the best thing to do would be to locate someone who owns the boat(s) you’re interested in and either get some photos of them or check them out in person.
I owned a '90 or '92 Nordkapp HM and currently own a '92 Pintail and a relatively new Anas Acuta.
My take on the Nordkapp is:
- Don’t get the HM. It tracks too strongly and the fixed skeg can be a liability in some conditions.
- Lower the seat if you’re going to use it as a day boat. Nordkapps are designed to be expedition boat and perform best when loaded with gear. The seat position is very high (~1.5" above the hull), which is probably advantageous for edging a loaded boat, but it makes it very squirrely when it’s empty. Lowering it an inch makes all the difference in the world.
- The Nordkapp is not a good design for use with an ocean cockpit. The high, peaked aft deck makes it difficult to balance the boat when entering or exiting. You have to enter/exit the cockpit at a pretty steep angle, which is difficult if you have long legs. With a 36" inseam, I found that I was constantly scraping my shins on the forward edge of the cockpit when entering and exiting. The boat really cries out for either a lower aft deck or a substantial recess at the rear of the coaming.
- Once you have it set up the way you like it, it’s an outstanding rough water boat and is reasonably fast in all conditions.
As for the Pintail:
In a word…SWEET! It’s by far my favorite rough water boat. The seat is ~1" off the hull, but it works fine as-is. The flat aft deck makes sliding in and out a breeze. Pintails are real dogs on flat water and don’t track at all without a bit of skeg, but that’s true of all of both the old and new designs. If VSK offers the old design with a cable skeg, it will be hard for me to resist.
The Anas Acuta:
It has become my most frequently used boat. It’s a bit faster and tracks a bit better than the Pintail. It’s not quite as stable and predictable in rough water, but it’s still very good. I haven’t paddled the older version, buy my understanding is that the only differences are the flat aft deck - vs. the arched aft deck on the newer model - and a rope skeg instead of the cable skeg on the newer model. AFAIK, the hull and foredeck have remained the same over the years. I don’t know that there’s really a lot to choose between the old and new versions of the AA, though I would like the lower aft deck.
A few other notes:
The Nordkapp deck layout has gone through many permutations. Mine had 3 round hatches centered on the deck, but I’ve seen seen various configurations of hatches, day hatches and deck rigging. The Pintail and AA have seen variations in deck rigging and compass recess position. IIRC, VSK allows you to customize the deck fitting and compass recess locations, so you can get whatever you want.
Good point…Now back to the drawing
board for me lol
older Valley Boats
I and my wife own several of the boats that you mentioned. We have both the older Valley Nordkapp HM (1993) and a newer 2001 3 piece Nordkapp Jubilee HM. These two boats are quite different from each other
the older Nordkapp we have has a larger cockpit (not a ocean , but not a Keyhole.)
It is faster than both the Jubilee and the Hatches/two/oval nordkapp (H20) by the way the s refered to in the name elsewear in this thread stands for standard hull (cable or rope skeg) the h20 in not at present offered in the HM hull configuration.
back to the older Nordkapp... It rolles different than the newwer versions (note I am grouping the Jubilee and the h20 together , the hulls are quite close in performance, the only real differences are the H20 has 2 oval hatches, the nose is slightly changed (did away with the small protrusion) the deck is slightly lower and I believe they took a slight amount of rocker back out of it.
The Jubilee has the highest deck and about 2 inches of rocher added to just the stern of the boat
The older Nordkapp has a high rear end to the combing, making layback rolls more difficult, it also has a edge that the Jubilee doesn't have and doesn't roll as smooth
The Jubilee is about 1/2 inch wider (just short or 21 inches wide) is has had materal added just behind the seat area that allows it to catch waves alittle easier (surf) and it has alittle more primary stability , The Jubilee has the rear of the combing lowered and allows laybacks (not as good as the Pintail or the AA (I have older models of each of them too)(a 1990 AA, and a 1992 Pintail)
I weigh 205 and am 5 10 1/2 , I fit the Jubilee beter than the older Nordkapp, My wife now paddles the older version....these boats are our SUV's they are not race boats, but efective camping boats. we can carry 2 week of food and gear with no problem, and they manuver quite well for our purpose with having to hit another island 5 miles away and then another beyond that then another....we don't require them to turn in one sweep, for small lakes we have our play boats. AKA Pintail/Anas Acuta.
The new AA has had a few changes, domed rear deck and the bulkhead behind the seat has been repositioned to do away with a stress put on the hull. the tail has been slightly changed and the top of the bow has been beefed up to accomidate the compass in a forward position otherwise they seem quite the same
the newer pintail has the front beefed to accomidate the compass, it has the domed rear deck (done for hull strenght) and has a flat on the side like a romony instead of the sloping angled side the older pintail has
all these boats have an attitude , they need to be paddled in big water to fully apreciate them
The Jubilee also has more volume in the bow and so rides up a wave better than the old model and when comming down a steep wave it tends to bury the nose less.
What Valley needs to make is a Nordkapp Jubilee LV, don't need more than one oval hatch, Talked to Robin two years ago and he said that a smaller Nordkapp was in the works....but that was then, who knows now. The Nordkapp Jubilee is in my opinion , a better handling boat than the older model, it is slightly slower and is too big of boat for smaller guys and small women. The market is lacking. The Nordkapp Jubilee is a superb hull design, but a Low Volum model with a beam around 20 inches and a length around 17 foot maybe 3 inches , a front deck height around 10 inches, would be nice to see (a HM hull). When my wife went looking a few years ago for a different boat, she couldn't find anything on the markett that fit her or pleased her more than my old style Nordkapp. The NF silloette was close but she didn't think that she liked it as well so I got a Jubilee. If Valley had made a Jubilee LV, she would prob own that. and I would still be paddling the old model Nordkapp.
I paddle the Jubilee HM and find no liability in its behavior, be it tracking or turning. It needs an edge or a bump in the water to turn really well but it does what it’s asked. I have never been disappointed by it’s performance and will never part with the boat.
A few years ago my buddy bought the classic Nordkapp and after going over them side by side I’m quite happy with my choice. Much better cockpit rim, slightly higher volume and more rocker.